Alabama women’s basketball knocked out of NCAA Tournament by No. 2 Maryland

James Fletcher
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama women's basketball was knocked out of the NCAA Tournament with a 100-64 loss against No. 2 seed Maryland at Bill Greehey Arena in San Antonio on Wednesday.

The Crimson Tide was led by Jasmine Walker’s 23 points and seven rebounds.

Here are three things to know:

Alabama unable to withstand early blow

Maryland (26-2) showed its offensive firepower from the opening tip.

After trailing 15-6 at the first media timeout, seventh-seeded Alabama (17-10) looked to flip the script and respond to Maryland’s early run. Instead, Maryland scored five points in the next 30 seconds and forced coach Kristy Curry to call a timeout.

“Their runs are normally really, really long and they’ve done this consistently all year,” said Curry. “We just had really hard time guarding them.”

The Terrapins outscored Alabama 30-9 in the first quarter.

Alabama struggles on offense

After scoring just nine points in the first quarter, the scoring struggles continued for Alabama.

The Crimson Tide shot 42.6% from the field and got little production outside of Walker from the perimeter.

Alabama also committed 19 turnovers, making it difficult to get into offensive sets.

Alabama guard Taylor Sutton (4) tries to pass while being pressured by Maryland forward Alaysia Styles (5) during the first half of a college basketball game in the second round of the women's NCAA tournament at the Greehey Arena in San Antonio on Wednesday, March 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Ronald Cortes)

An emotional end for Alabama’s Big Three

Images of the Alabama seniors tearing up on the sideline during the final minute brought the toughest part of March into focus.

It wasn't the way Alabama’s Big Three of seniors Ariyah Copeland, Jordan Lewis and Walker wanted to go out, but what they accomplished  won't be overshadowed by the end result.

“It’s just been a joy to go to work every day and see their faces,” said Curry. “A lot of kids want to do what’s easy, but they’ve always done what’s hard. It will go down as one of the greatest stories.”

The three seniors brought Alabama to its first NCAA Tournament in 21 years and cemented their places in program history along the way.

“I’ll always say that my senior year we made history, so that’s what I’m most proud about,” said Walker.